Family friendly New Year’s Eve party ideas

Think you're missing out on the fun of New Year’s Eve because you're stuck at home with the kids? Think again!

New Year's Eve for most people entails copious amounts of champagne, an elaborate fireworks display and a sloppy midnight kiss. New Year's Eve with kids is a different story… and dare I say it, a slightly boring one?

This year change it up with these fun, family friendly party games that are going to rejuvenate any tired New Year's Eve ritual. Put down that coronation chicken, leave the Monopoly in the drawer and get creative; welcome 2014 in with a bang for you and your little ones.

What you'll need:

- Balloons… lots of them
- Brown paper bags
- Silly string, party poppers, whistles, glow sticks, anything that makes a silly noise or lights up
- Different coloured card and tape
- Empty jars

Make a party bag

Set up an area with coloured pens, glitter and stickers; help your youngsters make their own New Year's party bags by personalising the front and filling it with lots of goodies they can play with all evening.

Adventure balloons

Attach lots of different coloured balloons to a wall or board that you can hang up and pop a balloon at the end of every hour leading up to midnight (or bedtime). Fill the balloons with pieces of paper with clues to items you've hidden around the house, make the clues easy or hard depending on the ages of your children. (If you have children of varying ages you can colour code them or just write a little E or H in marker pen, so the right balloon gets popped by the right child.)

Family photo booth

Buy or make props with a New Year's theme: party hats, glittery glasses, bow ties etc. and make your own photo booth area. All you need to do is cut a large piece of card (or an old cardboard box) into a frame and get family members to pose inside with their chosen props. Instant photo fun!

Dinner and dares

To really get your kids into the spirit of New Year's, place a jar filled with pieces of paper in the middle of your dinner table, get family members to pick out dares between courses, this will stop little bums getting restless and keep everyone having fun. Dares could include: bouncing a ball while everyone sings a nursery rhyme, making as many animal noises as you can think of in 30 seconds, doing a roly poly, jumping up and down on one leg while everyone counts to 10 (or higher), making a funny face every time someone says a certain word.

Question time

Keep a jar stocked with questions and set an alarm so that every half hour someone has to get a question and answer it. Alternatively you can switch this with the dares and vice versa. Keep the questions centred on New Year's: what was your favourite food in 2013, what was your favourite memory, what are you looking forward to in 2014? Etc.

Making mocktails (mock-cocktails)

Include your kids in the toasts at dinner or midnight, if they manage to stay up that long, by making special family friendly drinks.

Great ones for kids include:

  • · The Raspberry Fizzler - mix raspberry juice, raspberry sherbet and sparking water.
  • · Cool Watermelon (or any other similar fruit) Slushies - Blend watermelon chunks and ice cubes with honey to sweeten.
  • · Mock Champagne - mix ginger beer, pineapple juice and apple juice.

Buy coloured plastic glasses, umbrellas and straws to really glam them up, your kids will feel very grown-up!

New Year's Eve is all about new beginnings, so start as you mean to go on: have fun, get creative, do things together and after your kids pass out from all the games, pop the champagne and toast to a happy 2014!

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